Sukulwenkosi Dube Plumtree Correspondent
BULILIMA and Mangwe districts recorded the highest murder cases in Matabeleland South Province in December, according to the police.
The province’s police spokesperson, Inspector Philani Ndebele said the districts were the hub of violent crime. He said as a result, police have scheduled a crime awareness campaign for Thursday in Bulilima district with the hope to reduce their occurrence.
Insp Ndebele said the worst affected areas were the villages which fell under Madlambudzi policing area.
“Madlambuzi area is our problematic area throughout the whole province because that is where the worst violent crimes are recorded.
“The perpetrators of these crimes use dangerous weapons like axes, knives and guns, be it for assaulting their victims or worse crimes.
“In most cases the causes of these crimes are trivial issues which end with loss of lives and shedding of blood. For example, we had a man from this district who tried to kill his brother in a dispute over four head of cattle,” said Insp Ndebele.
He said some of the perpetrators of the crimes were never caught as they fled to neighbouring countries.
Insp Ndebele said they hoped to engage community members and other interested groups with the hope to encourage positive behaviour change.
Matabeleland South provincial crime consultative committee chairperson, Obert Sibanda said out of 11 murder cases that were recorded throughout the province in December last year, Bulilima and Mangwe Districts which fall under Plumtree policing area accounted for four cases.
He said the crime awareness campaigns would be a continuous process until the targeted group was reached.
Traditional leaders in Bulilima district attributed the spate of violent crimes to the area’s proximity to the border.
“A number of people staying in this particular area have relatives in Botswana and South Africa while others once stayed there. As a result villagers tend to adopt violent practices from neighbouring countries and apply them on locals.
“That’s why we’re experiencing incidents where perpetrators are shooting their victims,” said Chief Masendu.
The areas which fall under Madlambuzi policing zone comprise Masendu, Madlambuzi, Ndolwane, Malalume, Bambadzi, Tsukuru, Khame, Hingwe, among others.
In Masendu area last year, a family was attacked by a gunman who killed a 22-year-old woman and wounded her 60-year-old grandmother. In Matjinge area a 75-year-old woman poisoned her 18-year-old son over his inheritance. In Khame area an 18-year-old man fatally stabbed his neighbour in a dispute over a woman.
Early last year four siblings murdered their six-year-old stepbrother and hanged him from a tree in a bid to get back at their stepmother.
Recently a 21-year-old man from Ndolwane area axed a traditional leader from his area to death.
Police in Matabeleland South recently expressed concern over the increase in cases of murder, rape, assault and robbery as they had increased sharply in the last months of 2014.
According to a police statement reported recently 11 murder cases were recorded in December compared to four cases recorded in the previous year. Cases of assault also increased in December 2014 with 166 cases recorded compared to 155 cases recorded during the same period the previous year.